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Apr 2021 21

I am a happy introvert. I like to be by myself. I only need a little bit of social interaction to be happy. That’s the case with most introverted people, by the way. It’s not that they don’t crave any social interaction, but that they need less of it. Some people need to be outside and be around other people every two days, every week, every month. Me? I need it about every three to five month. Otherwise I am happy to be home alone with my animals, my garden, and having choices to do whatever I may want to do for the day. An annoying thing for me is to be pinned down often to do something. If anything comes up there is no more choice and what I’m committed to doing becomes a chore.

During 2020 when we were hit with the corona virus, please don’t misinterpret this, but it was a pretty nice and calming time for me. I understand that some people got sick and others lost family, but that aside many were just forced to stay home. For me that was not an issue in the least. It wasn’t until later that I joined a group of friends for video chats every Saturday that I realized how hard the situation was- for others. For me meeting every Saturday was a little annoying, but that’s because I’m an introvert and while I don’t need interaction with other people every weekend; that lack of interaction for others is torture. I’d hear stories on how people missed going to movie theaters, to eat with friends, to see others walking in malls or sitting in the food court. It means a lot to them… it’s just so foreign to me.

I feel bad for the extroverts out there. It’s not easy for them to be by themselves. I might not be able to completely empathize, but I can see that it’s not easy for them. My sanctuary is their hell it seems. While I feel for them though, people don’t seem to understand the other side. In the same way I can’t really empathize with them they can’t seem to empathize with me, but also believe there is some kind of underlying issue that I need help solving. “He’s always alone- let me spend more time with him”, “He’s always reading in the corner, poor guy- let me find him a girlfriend”, “He must have a hard time meeting people- let me try and get him into a group or club”. It’s a big pain in my butt.

After college many friends tried to organize outings with me or I made new friends who wanted to hang out. We would go out for lunch, watch movies- it was such a chore. Don’t get me wrong. I love them, but to go out so often was mentally exhausting for me. On top of that it wasn’t always a group of people, but different people on different days. Mix that with a culture of school/work and weekly church services- more forced interactions- and my time felt so confined. I had lost relationships with people who felt I had neglected their friendship. For the most part I didn’t mind losing said friendships, they wanted something that I couldn’t give them. It’s completely fair that they feel that way. It’s rare that I meet someone who understands me as an introvert. They’re there though. We call every so often, meet up maybe once a year, and if they need me for something like life gets hard or heavy furniture needs to be moved we’ll contact each other and help each other out. There are some that I wont see in person for years and we can continue right where we left off. I appreciate those people.

This last year I’m trying to be a better friend towards my extroverted pals, especially when I know how hard it might have been, but it’s can be mentally exhausting for me. A great day for me is to come home, take off my shoes, open a book, or start up a video game. Just wish it was that easy for others.

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